Blog of Rights

Monica Jones at a press conference

Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:19am
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are "manifesting" an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between "innocent" and "criminal" behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. "[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a significant role in officers' decisions to stop and arrest transgender women," the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, "'No tenemos el derecho a vivir.' (We don't have the right to live.)."
Anita Hill movie poster

The Power of One Voice: A Review

By Emily Naphtal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:30pm

Everyone should go see Anita, a recently released documentary that revolves around Anita Hill's controversial 1991 Senate hearing on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States. As most people know, in the hearing, she…

Women who work full time still earn, on average, only $0.77 for ever $1 men earn

Equal Pay's Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Four years ago, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate. The bill, which would have helped close the pay gap between men and women by updating the Equal Pay Act of 1963, had majority support. But because a few senators blocked…

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing

By Robyn Shepherd, ACLU at 10:56am

Last month, the ACLU's Louise Melling blogged about how street harassment shames and humiliates women, and is underreported because of the stigma attached to it. While that blog was making the editing rounds here at the office, I shared my own story…

Protect Access to Birth Control

Wait, Did An Oklahoma Hospital Try to Ban Birth Control Prescriptions For An Entire Town?

By Kelsey Townsend, Reproductive Freedom Project, ACLU at 2:06pm

Last week, women in Bartlesville, Oklahoma faced a terrifying possibility. According to a new religiously based directive from the town's main health care system, only one OB-GYN in the entire town would have been allowed to prescribe birth control.…

Honoring the Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Honoring the Women of the Civil Rights Movement

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:27pm

History month celebrations, like those honoring African-Americans and women, are sometimes criticized as being ineffective ways of countering the tendency to marginalize the vital role of blacks and women in shaping American culture. Instead of…

"Hope" Triumphs over Abuse and Housing Discrimination

"Hope" Triumphs over Abuse and Housing Discrimination

By Ramya Sekaran, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:54pm

Imagine you endure abuse in your own home, and are finally able to flee. You want to keep your children safe, and you are ready to start a new life. But your abuser continues to stalk you. You finally find a safe and affordable place to live.

But…

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 3:40pm

Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women's rights should be...

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

Equal Pay by the Numbers

Equal Pay by the Numbers

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:02pm

Over fifty after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Senate is poised to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a much needed update to this law. While the Equal Pay Act was a historic piece of legislation that finally acknowledged that women…